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The way we are delivering digital inclusion and the DI charter within CVSC

From, Wendy Jones, Chief Officer, Conwy Voluntary Services Council

Digital inclusion is important to CVSC for many reasons. It enables our staff to offer a fully digital service when required, including webinars, blogs, social media presence, etc. We have an online Funding Enquiry form, and various help sheets that are integral to our work, it is therefore essential that are members are digitally included.We need to ensure that our members have access to the latest digital media methods; by hosting social media training sessions, and offering a new service ‘Tweet press’ for organisations wishing to ensure widespread coverage for their events.

Our volunteering team supports potential volunteers to fully utilise the Volunteering in Wales website, which empowers them to understand the breadth of opportunities available – and supports a quick and effective process.

We are involved with the DEWIS health website and facilitated a bulk upload of our members’ information. Elsewhere, we promote the LSB Financial Inclusion e-learning module, have undertaken bespoke social media training for unique groups; e.g. Men’s Sheds, we signpost to providers of all levels of IT training and support and are members of the Conwy Digital Inclusion Partnership. We also actively encourage groups to provide us with an online communication method – and our members’ directory provides direct links.

Here is a great example of how digital inclusion work at CVSC has been of great value to someone we have supported. This is Donna’s story…

“Hello, I’m Donna!

I volunteer for CVSC. I had been in employment for most of my adult life, but in 2011, my health changed drastically, leaving me physically unable to continue working. Not only was this devastating at the time, but being told that although my ongoing treatment will give me some benefit, I will never be physically able to continue in my chosen career.

Now, alongside my health issues, I had to think about a career change. So in 2014, I enrolled on a Progressive Skills course in Computers, and it was whilst I was there, a tutor mentioned CVSC, the organisation and the valuable experience you could gain for future employment, if you were to volunteer.
I made an appointment with the organisation, where I could discuss my situation with a CVSC advisor. The role of the advisor is to match your needs or interests alongside the many opportunities on offer.

My aim in volunteering, was to use my computer skills in an office setting, so ideally I was looking for a role in administration. Fortunately for me, on that day, CVSC themselves were looking for a volunteer to join their own administration team.

When you are ill, negative factors can creep up on you, my confidence was lacking and I had fears of the . Volunteering has made me feel worthwhile again. Within the first few weeks of being at CVSC, I quickly settled into an office role, and felt well received by the members of the team. I now have new friends, I have acquired new skills and have actually been out on social occasions with them. Something I hadn’t done in years.

My confidence whilst volunteering with CVSC has flourished and I now feel comfortable to attend events as an Ambassador for volunteering, whereby I tell people about the positive benefits volunteering has had for me.”